So … want to get a free sneak peek at my watch list?
Based on prices from midday yesterday, here are the three biggest bargains I'm watching now.
Delta to Fair Value
|Sterlite Industries (NYSE: SLT )||57.4%|
|Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG )||43.7%|
|Coca-Cola Hellenic (NYSE: CCH )||34.2%|
Source: Author's opinion, with full awareness of false precision.
And here's why you might consider watching each one of these stocks as well.
If you've ever lived or traveled in India, then you know India needs to greatly improve its infrastructure if the country is to achieve its economic growth potential. And that's infrastructure across the board -- roads, rails, power, water, you name it -- India needs more and better of it. This is why there's such a significant market opportunity for Sterlite Industries, India's largest producer of industrial metals such as copper, aluminum, and zinc.
Despite this compelling combination of market opportunity and industry position, Sterlite is down almost 35% this year, compared with just a 15% decline for the Indian index, with investors concerned that falling commodities prices could send the company's recently improving profitability spiraling back downward.
That could very well happen, given the risk for another global downturn, but Sterlite, like India, is a long-term story. So long as the company's long-term sales growth tracks India's GDP growth and the company settles out in the midpoint of historical profitability, I estimate that the stock is worth $17 per share. That's a long way from today’s $10 stock price, making Sterlite an inexpensive way to gain exposure to one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
Like many small, U.S.-listed Chinese companies, plant-nutrient maker Yongye International has had to answer its share of questions about its accounting and corporate governance -- questions that have weighed on the stock despite the fact that the company has nearly doubled sales and operating income over the past year. And while our Global Gains research team has visited the company, talked with its customers, and independently verified points of sale for the company's product, there's now another reason to believe Yongye is actually the growth company it says it is.
Following a reportedly $1 million due-diligence effort, U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) invested $50 million in Yongye through convertible bonds that, admittedly, come with myriad protections and preferential terms. Interestingly, however, Morgan Stanley does not appear satisfied with that $50 million exposure. The team there has also been buying up common shares on the open market and, following a nearly $2 million purchase at $5.9257 on Sept. 8, now beneficially owns well more than 10% of the company. Put that stake together with the more than 20% of the company owned by insiders and other large shareholders, and a going private transaction, such as one proposed by Bain Capital for China Fire & Security Group (Nasdaq: CFSG ) , does not start to look out of the question.
If that happens, shareholders will benefit from a near-term price increase. If it doesn't, then you own a stake in a long-term growth story that Morgan Stanley can't seem to get enough of.
I'm only half-kidding when I say that Coca-Cola Hellenic's stock would go up 10% to 20% if it simply changed its name to Coca-Cola Russia and Nigeria. This Coca-Cola bottler, the second-largest in the world by volume, has wrongly been lumped in by investors with the rest of the European contagion and has seen its stock sell off sharply as a result. Whether that's because of the name or because the company does have exposure to Greece, Italy, and Ireland, is almost irrelevant. Long-term investors should be focused on the fact the CCH controls two of Coke's most exciting emerging markets: Russia and Nigeria. Together, those markets have a population roughly that of the United States, but with per capita Coca-Cola consumption that's one-half to one-quarter of what it is globally.
Although CCH is not without challenges, including the need to spend on distribution infrastructure and handle rising commodity costs, the market is dramatically underestimating the sales-growth potential here. If you believe Russians and Nigerians will eventually drink as much Coke as the rest of the world, the stock is worth $25 per share. That's a bargain when you consider that Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) is now trading well ahead of my estimated value on the strength of sales growth in emerging markets just like Russia and Nigeria.